Malaysiakini News

A Sarawak Spring?

Bridget Welsh  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT When change rocked the Middle East from Tunisia to Yemen, many were quick to point out that it could not happen in Malaysia. The BN government has a stronger record of governance and, for all of the unevenness of the playing field, holds competitive elections.

NONE Yet, as the Sarawak campaign has unfolded, it is increasingly becoming apparent that change is afoot. The 30-year tenure of Abdul Taib Mahmud - closely paralleling the length of Hosni Mubarak's own tenure - has inspired an unprecedented response on the ground.

With record attendance at rallies across the state, the floodgates of change have opened, with Prime Minister Najib Razak calling on all of his cabinet to campaign in what has become a defining national litmus test.

The 10th Sarawak election is perhaps the first real test since March 2008 of whether Malaysia will experience a similar spring, or whether it will stave off change...

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